This week, seeing how this is a blog about technology, we will talk about blogs and blogging. A blog is a good way to get information out to the masses, without really worrying about who you did and didn’t send it to. Blogs are a place for you to say what you are feeling, thinking, or just like this blog, give information on a topic you want others to know more about. You can even have your student’s blog about what is going on in your class to share with their parents, classmates, school, and community in a safe and secure way. Blogs can be public, semi-private or private. Who you want to reach with your blog will determine which type security you will want to use with you blog.
Why would you want to blog as a teacher?
A blog is a good way to communicate with parents about what is going on in your classroom. This is a way to go paperless if you have a class newsletter. Obviously, those that don’t have access to the electronic version of your newsletter/blog, will still need the paper version of the newsletter. In a way, a blog is like a class webpage. You can post the same material that you would have on a webpage on a blog. You can still restrict who can and can’t see your blog, and have the ability to approve or disapprove comments and posts. A blog still allows you to post pictures, but it is more of a way to include narrative information to those who read your blog.
As a teacher, a blog is also a good way to get new information on just about anything out to other teachers. In a way, a professional development opportunity for you and those that you teach with, even others from around the world. Just because you don’t want to write a blog of your own, there are many blogs out there that you can follow to help you find new and cool tools and resources to use in your classroom. Finding the right ones to follow is the key. Start with one to follow, then maybe add some more. You may find out, they aren’t posting topics that are good for you, then you can find someone else to follow.
How can my own students blog?
There is a site called KidBlog, just one of many, that allows you to control your class blog from setup to posting options to who can view and comment on posts. Students can select their name from a dropdown menu, which will be set up when you “register” your class, to be able to log in to post to the blog. Students don’t even need to remember a username, but must remember a password. You can setup the blog so that you have to approve the post or comment for it to post to the classes blog. You can make the blog only accessible to your class, to guests who have a password, or open to the web. This is a good way for your class to work on their writing and be able to share it with their classmates and parents in a no hassle manner.
Obviously, KidBlog isn’t the only classroom blogging site that you can use. There are others out there that may have some of the same functionality as KidBlog. However, the options that I have seen so far are very useful for a class blog. The security you have as a teacher for your students writing, and seeing what they write and comment on before it posts to the web for your approval are important tools. This allows you more control and the ability to stop inappropriate posts or comments before they are posted to the blog for all to see.
As a teacher, you have more options for your own use to have your own blog. For your personal blog, or one associated with the school, you can use many different blogging platforms. This blog was created using Google’s Blogger, which can be accessed using a Google account. There is also Word Press and EduBlogs, to name a few. Some are free and others you will have to pay for. What you use is up to you and what you want to do with your personal or class blog. Every blog hosting site has it advantages and disadvantages. What you use is ultimately up to your own preferences. Just remember, once you post it is on the net for posterity.
Blogs to possibly follow: